Posts Tagged ‘Lebron James’

The Point Four-ward: Empty the Bench

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

-b84c6ac157783576

First off, if you haven’t read Ben’s excellent recap of the Cavs win in Detroit last night, please do yourself that favor. Then, it’s onto—

Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) On a recent Cavs telecast, I heard something that gave me pause. It concerned the overall league ranking for the Cavs bench. Anyone want to guess what it was?

Try 30th overall. That’s right, the Cavs bench is ranked dead last in the league averaging just 23.6 points per game according to hoopsstats.com. That is not something that inspires much confidence when talking about a team whose recent stretch of torrid play has vaulted it back in the thick of the championship contender conversation.

(more…)

Recap: Cavs 127, Wizards 89 (Or, “That was kind of devastating” – John Wall)

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 1.47.11 AM

[Editor’s Note] The Cavs went into DC to battle a team they were looking up at in the standings.  John Wall apparently called this a “must win” game for the Wizards.  The Cavs led by as many as 40.  With the win, they leapt over Washington to claim 4th place in the East.  The Cavs even dominated garbage time, which never happens.  The C:tB crew was inactive tonight (we didn’t perfectly align our all-star break), so we tapped some of the veteran commenters for the recap.

(more…)

The Point Four-ward: The Unofficial Stretch Run

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

NBA: All Star Game4

Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers as they pick back up after the All-Star break…

1.) You may have read the following comment from LeBron James following Sunday’s All-Star Game and raised your eyebrows just a bit.

Asked about his aggressive first quarter of the showcase game (in which he scored 15 points on 6-9 shooting in eight-plus minutes) James said:

It’s my obligation and my responsibility to go out there, if I’m feeling 80 percent or 85 percent or 90, to go out there and give my fans something. Give my fans what they wanted to see. And hopefully I did that.

The good news is that James viewed himself at somewhere between 80-90 percent on a day where he was still looking at several days off before picking the season back up again on Friday night. He also threw out those percentages after he’d scored 30 points on 11-21 shooting with five rebounds and seven assists in a performance that would have surely netted James the game MVP award had the East not fallen to the West 163-158.

So, 80-90 percent of LeBron James is still pretty darned good.

(more…)

Recap: Bulls 113, Cavs 98 (Or, Tony Snell +29, LeBron -27)

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

The Bulls came to play, LeBron laid an egg.  A win would have been nice for the Cavs, a loss would have hurt the Bulls more than the Cavs.  LeBron was -27, Tony Snell, a mutant created when Tony Allen and Ray Allen’s DNA was combined, was +29 and completely dominated LeBron at both ends.

1st Quarter:

Cavs netted the first five points of the game including a LeBron and-1.  After a rebound, LeBron stumbled against the pressure of Tony Snell and coughed it up, leading to a Pau Gasol and-1 the other way: five-point swing for the Bulls.  LeBron, seemingly annoyed, calmly stepped into a 3 right in Snell’s eye.  And that was the last outside shot LeBron made in the half (and he took quite a few).  The Bulls turned up the heat at both ends.  Rumors of Gasol’s resurgence turned out to be true.  He punished the Cavs inside and even stepped out and swished a corner 3.  And then Tony Snell happened.  In addition to hounding LeBron like a bulldog, Snell cut right down the lane on back to back possessions and threw down vicious 2-handed dunks.  The Bulls continued to flash people down the middle of the lane and the Cavs really didn’t do anything to slow them down.  Mozgov showed some life offensively, tossing in a nice left-handed pop shot over Joakim Noah, and drove from the foul line-extended to throw down a brutal left-handed dunk.

(more…)

The Point Four-ward: Fit In, Fit On, Fit Out

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

635506312288353559-USP-NBA-CLEVELAND-CAVALIERS-AT-CHICAGO-BULLS-68411372

Four things I’m thinking about the NBA and the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) LeBron James loves his teammates.

Sorry… change that. LeBron James loves to love his teammates.

From his days playing at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary with Dru Joyce III, Sian Cotton, Willie McGee and Romeo Travis, to his days as a Cavalier and thier elaborate choreographed pre-game introductions, James has always seemed most comfortable when his team exudes a family atmosphere. When they’re close. When everybody fits in.

So, it wasn’t shocking to see that this weekend, as his new version of the Cavaliers continues to round into form, that James would address what he saw as the team’s squeakiest wheel going forward: power forward, Kevin Love.

(more…)

The Point Four-ward: How Buddy Ball Won Out

Friday, January 30th, 2015

-cae3eedb1a5d308c

Four points I’m thinking about the NBA and the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) This time last season, I couldn’t have expected I’d be uttering the following statement: the two Cavaliers players I most enjoy watching this season are Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson.

Now, sure, even before Wednesday night’s Kyrie-a-thon, that’s not the craziest thing in the world to say. It’s not like saying I’m tuning in just for the chance to see three glorious minutes of Mike Miller or James Jones. But this time last year, I was firmly on Team Dion and was more than open to criticizing the highly-susceptible-to-criticism play of Irving and Thompson, a.k.a. Team Buddy Ball.

But here we are now…

(more…)

Recap: Cavs 103, Pistons 95 (Or, sometimes talent is enough)

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

The Cavs defeated the Pistons to win their seventh straight game.  This one was the definition of an uneven game.  The Cavs were about as lethargic as I’ve seen them in the opening minutes before LeBron decided to push the tempo off every miss, taking over the game in spurts.  Cleveland couldn’t hit 3s no matter how open until they hit four straight to push their lead to 15 points in the third.  (They finished 9-34 from downtown.)  Shawn Marion gave an inspired two-way effort in the first half and barely saw the court in the second.  LeBron, for all his spurious wizardry was downright horrific in the fourth quarter.  Kyrie Irving had one of his best games as a Cavalier.  There were periods were the only offense the Cavs could generate was on the heels of Kyrie’s defense and in the 4th quarter he alone kept the Pistons at arms-length.  The Pistons had moments where they completely dominated the Cavs with dribble drive penetration and individual post moves from Greg Monroe.  Andre Drummond dominated the defensive glass and sent six shots back from whence they came.  But he finished an abysmal 6-17 from the field and missed a handful of point-blank bunnies, including an uncontested one in the final moments that would have made the game much more interesting.  A win is a win, but the Cavs played like the 25th best team in the league outlasting the 27th best team.  That both teams shot 42% and the Pistons had zero defensive answers for LeBron dribble drives while the Cavs defensive effort was Swiss cheesian tells you how poorly these teams executed on offense.

(more…)

The Point Four-ward: Backcourt Bliss

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

-ced5b97547c429cb

First off, if you haven’t listened to Nate, Tom and Ben’s mid-season Cavs: The Podcast, what are you waiting for??

Four points I’m thinking about the NBA and the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) Kyrie Irving is really winning me back over this season.

While everyone (CtB included) was quick to heap praise on the performance of newly-acquired center Timofey Mosgov in the Cavs 108-94 victory over the Chicago Bulls, Monday night, for me, was all about Irving.

It wasn’t his greatest shooting performance (7-16 for 18 points and only got to the free throw line four times) but watching Irving play surrounded by talent is to remember just the type of amazing plays he’s capable of on an every-time-down-the-floor basis. In fact — and it pains me to say this — he may have already passed LeBron James in that regard.

This is not to say that Irving is a better player than James. The Cavs recent losing streak with James out showed that, no, Irving still does not know how to win in this league. Too often, his brand of hero ball seems to send the Cavs to the wrong side of the win/loss column. He walks the ball up too much rather than pushing it. But, as we saw from Irving in the FIBA tournament this summer, when he seems to feel more trust in the players around him, Irving can look like one of the best players in the league.

(more…)

Culty Catch Up: Finding The Cavs

Sunday, January 18th, 2015
space-heater

The elbow area of the floor has been so empty and cold lately.

Each week there is a ton of NBA media pertaining to the Cavs and the league in general that deserves recognition. A lot of it goes unread because there just isn’t enough time to keep up with it. Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered with six to eight notable reads/videos (the last two reads are up in the air just like the Cavs bench production this season) from the past seven days to get you through the weekend feeling entertained, caught up, and much smarter. I’ll throw in Earl’s Pearl of the Week and some other features to add to the entertainment.

Throughout life people are constantly trying to find themselves. It’s a day-to-day process and encompasses all sorts of choices. For example, a few days ago I was sporting a homeless man sized beard and was having a facial hair crisis. I felt fierce when I looked in the mirror and was able to realistically contemplate putting beads of some form near my face. My beard was full of possibilities; however, I also realized that it’s not right to let people stare at me and wonder if I’m homeless

So I went to the barber shop. After twenty minutes, I walked out with a smooth face. I felt jolly. And, since the Cavs won that night and the next night against the Clippers, I have decided that that’s a sign I made the right choice. I found myself that day at the shop, even if it was just a tiny bit. That discovery may change though (maybe when the Cavs lose again or I stare at this photo too long) and that’s okay. Everything is constantly changing. Hopefully, the King understands that. (more…)

Lessons from the Bench

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

We’ve all been thinking a lot about David Blatt, lately. Questions float around in our head… Why isn’t this working? Is it the players? Is it the coach? Is it the waning moon? Did I move my life-size cutout of LeBron too close to my stuffed Moondog, and thus cancel out their energies? It’s true that there’s no single reason the Cavs are struggling. A new person is assigned as blame tampon each week…. Mike Miller, Delly, Sir C.C., Kevin Love, and this week, David Blatt. Having a little bit of coaching experience, myself, I thought I’d offer some advice. You see, I’ve coached girl’s basketball for the last three years as my oldest has matriculated from third to fifth, so I can empathize with what coach Blatt is going through. Coaching in the NBA is a lot like coaching fifth grade girls, right?

(more…)